What makes us unique

Rowanberry Mini-Kindy is a Gilmerton based child-minding service greatly influenced by Steiner and Froebel principles, looking after children from the age of three years old (in some cases we offer care for children before their third birthday). You will often find us exploring nature, feeding our chicken flock, making crafts, singing and storytelling, baking and creating! Our days flow similar to that of a Steiner Kindergarten, but with a greater home-spun, family ethos – our children love to play together, and due to the smaller number of children in our care than in a nursery or kindergarten setting, they are well supported to build lasting friendship bonds. 

Our Mini-Kindy is run by a former Glasgow-Steiner teacher and Edinburgh-Steiner school parent, and parent and child group leader, Sarah-Ann Askew. Sarah is supported by wonderful assistants, one of whom is Forest-School trained, and one who is an experienced Steiner kindergarten teacher. Our setting is a large family home, complemented by front and back gardens, with large sandpit, a fire pit and home-made mud kitchen. We have a Steiner inspired program in the mornings in a back-garden and yurt, and forest school morning once a week, in the local woods. The afternoons are more of a free-style Froebel approach. Currently we based completely outside in the garden. We are planning to start using the yurt again when the season turns and the weather gets colder (as long as there are no restrictions placed on us by the current situation).

Our children are happy, and we’re sure you will be too. We have spaces available, please enquire with notice of when you could come for a visit, and the days and times you require childcare, by filling in our online enquiries form here, thank you!

The Scottish Child Payment

Dear parents,
We wanted to make you aware of The Scottish Child Payment which is for families that are struggling during the pandemic – it gives eligible parents and carers an additional £10 a week for each child initially under the age of six.

For more information please visit:
https://www.gov.scot/news/new-scottish-child-payment-starts-today/

To apply please visit:
mygov.scot/benefits

Hedgehogs in our garden

We recently built a house for our four legged friends that live in the garden. We also set up a camera to see their nightime activity. The children have enjoyed finding dry leaves to line the new hedgehog house and leaving food for the hogs to eat at night. Its been lovely to see the hedgehogs feeding. We’re not sure if they are actually using the hoghouse because we suspect that they may have set up shop under the yurt where they have free overhead heating! We haven’t seen any movement on the hogcam for several days now so we think that they are now in hibernation. Sleep tight little friends 🙂 see you in the spring.

Give Them Time Campaign

Here at Rowanberry we believe that learning happens at a childs pace not one set out by the government. As you may already know Scotland has one of the youngest school starting ages in the world (many starting at age 4). There is currently a campaign to allow children to defer their start for 1 year (August-December birthdays, Jan/Feb birthdays can already do this) whilst still being able to access funding from the council to attend a childcare setting such as Rowanberry. The campaign is called “Give them time”.


In view of this we would highly encourage you to write a letter to your local MSP. We have attached a copy of the letter the Edinburgh Steiner School sent, and a template letter you could use. To find your local MSP you can do so by inputting your post code here:

 https://beta.parliament.scot/msps/current-and-previous-msps


The Edinburgh Steiner School have written a very good article on this which you can read here:


https://www.edinburghsteinerschool.org.uk/2020/09/25/big-changes-little-pupils/


Please consider supporting this campaign even if your family will not be affected by this as it may help someone you know.


Please share this email to others with young children. Together we can make a difference!

Kindergarten Teacher Training

Sarah Ann is very excited to announce that she is starting the Steiner Waldorf Kindergarten Teacher training soon. She already has a Steiner Class Teacher training, Steiner Early Years Training and The Froebel Certificate under her belt but wants to offer the best service she can so is now enrolled on the Kindergarten training starting October. She will be away attending the training in the last week of October (26th-30th) unless restrictions increase in which case it will be online. Her dedicated team of assistants will care for the children while she is away so there will be no disruption to our services.

Water Pump

We have a new area in the garden for water play! Bram found an antique water pump last year and after its long journey from the Netherlands he finally had time to install it during lockdown. We collect rain water from the bothy roof which collects in an old whiskey barrel and then gets pumped up into a bucket or along pipes or whatever the children can dream up and build!

Free council funded places

We partnered with Edinburgh City Council last year to offer fully funded places for 3 & 4 year olds and we’ve had several families taking advantage of this fantastic opportunity. We were one of the first settings in Edinburgh to trial this and later also one of the first settings to be able to offer the higher number of funded hours at 1140 per year.

We have had questions regarding this recently and we wanted to clarify how these hours are distributed throughout the year. Some childcare settings are only open during school term time. 1140 hours distributed in this manner throughout the year means that these childcare settings offer 30 hours per week per child. We are open for 45 weeks per year (the 2020/21 calendar can be downloaded in the starting forms page of this website) which means this works out at 25 hours per week. Our session times are 5 hours each (8am – 1pm, & 1pm – 6pm) so you are entitled to 5 sessions of funded care per week.

Funding starts the term after your child turns 3. So if, for example, your child is born in October then the funding will start in January.

If you have any questions or would like to get on our waiting list please fill in our New Enquiry form on the contact page or click here.

The Bothy Roof

The bothy (or boot room) finally has the polycarbon roof fitted ~ Thanks Bram! 🙂 ~ to provide shelter in front of the bothy. This is especially important as we have decided to be fully outdoors for now. We will be using the bothy for hand washing and to use the loo only.